Saturday 12 Rabi‘ at-akhir 1442 - 28 November 2020
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Refutation of those who say that before Prophethood the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was just like other people

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Publication : 08-01-2016

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Question

How should we react to people who say that the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) was just an ordinary man before Jibreel AS came to him when he was forty years old.

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was human, but Allah, may He be exalted, bestowed His favour upon him and blessed him, and chose him as He chose other Messengers (peace be upon them) before him. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: ‘Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger?’”

[al-Isra’ 17:94]

“Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): ‘I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah)’”

[al-Kahf 18:110]. 

Al-Bukhaari (401) and Muslim (572) narrated from Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “I am only human like you; I forget as you forget.” 

Abu Dawood (4659) narrated from Salmaan from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “I am one of the sons of Adam; I get angry as you get angry.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 

To sum up, this similarity in terms of being human means that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was a man, one of the sons of Adam, and was not an angel, let alone being a god or having any attributes or characteristics of divinity, or anything that is unique to divinity. Exalted be Allah far above having any partner, peer, rival or equal. Rather he (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is one of the creations of Allah, a human from among the sons of Adam, whom Allah honoured with Prophethood and with that high status. 

Secondly: 

However before Prophethood, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was not like other people; rather he was distinct from them in many things in which Allah favoured him and for which He singled him out. Al-Haafiz Salaah ad-Deen al-‘Alaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

How could it be otherwise, when Allah, may He be exalted, protected him before his Prophethood began from many permissible things that would detract from the status of anyone who indulged in them? 

End quote from Fataawa al-‘Alaa’i (76) 

Examples of this include the following: 

·Before his mission began, Allah, may He be exalted, protected him from prostrating to idols and worshipping them, as his people used to do. 

·Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, also protected him from drinking alcohol even before Prophethood. Al-Haafiz al-‘Alaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What should be noted definitively is that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not drink any intoxicating fermented drinks at the time when they were permissible, and this is not found in any report whatsoever, whether with a saheeh or da‘eef isnaad.

End quote from Fataawa al-‘Alaa’i (75) 

·A rock used to greet him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) with salaam before his mission began. Muslim (2277) narrated that Jaabir ibn Samurah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “I know a rock in Makkah that used to greet me before I was sent. I would recognize it even now.” 

·Jibreel (peace be upon him) opened his chest when he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was small, and took out (from his heart) the share of the Shaytaan. 

·It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that Jibreel came to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) when he was playing with the other boys. He took hold of him and threw him to the ground, then he opened his chest and took out his heart, from which he took a clot of blood and said: “This was the Shaytaan’s share of you.” Then he washed it in a vessel of gold that was filled with Zamzam. Then he put it back together and returned it to its place. The boys went running to his mother – meaning his nurse – and said: Muhammad has been killed! They went to him and his colour had changed. Anas said: I used to see the mark of that stitching on his chest. Narrated by Muslim (162). 

·Al-Bukhaari (364) and Muslim narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) carried stones with them to the Ka‘bah, wearing his izaar. His paternal uncle al-‘Abbaas said to him: O son of my brother, why don’t you undo your izaar and put it on your shoulders for protection (against the roughness) of the stones? So he undid his izaar and put it on his shoulders, but then he fell unconscious, and he was never seen unclothed again after that (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

·Ahmad (23800) narrated from Abu’t-Tufayl – and he mentioned the reconstruction of the Ka‘bah during the Jaahiliyyah, and said: Quraysh demolished it and started to rebuild it with the stones of the valley, which Quraysh carried on their shoulders and built it up, twenty cubits high. Whilst the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was carrying stones, going back and forth, wearing a striped izaar, the izaar became tight so he went to put it on his shoulder, but his ‘awrah would have become visible because the izaar was too small. So a voice called out: “O Muhammad, cover your ‘awrah.” And he was never seen unclothed after that.

The commentators on al-Musnad said: Its isnaad is qawiy. 

·At-Tayaalisi narrated in his Musnad (2781) that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: I have been forbidden to be unclothed – and that was before Prophethood came down to him.

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘ (6783)

·It was narrated by at-Tirmidhi (3620) – who classed it as hasan – and by al-Bayhaqi in Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwah (2/24) that Abu Moosa said: Abu Taalib set out for Syria, and the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) set out with him, along with some elders from Quraysh. When they drew near to the monk they dismounted and unloaded their baggage. The monk came out to them, but before that when they passed by him he did not come out to them or pay any attention to them. As they were unloading their baggage and he went to them and walked among them until he came and took the hand of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: This is the leader of the worlds; this is the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds; Allah has sent him as a mercy to the worlds. The elders of Quraysh said to him: How do you know? He said: When you came from al-‘Aqabah, he did not pass any tree or rock but it fell down in prostration, and they do not prostrate except for a Prophet. I recognised him; the Seal of Prophethood is below his shoulder-blade, like an apple. Then he went back and made some food for them, and when he came, [the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)] was tending the camels, so he said: Send for him. He came, with a cloud shading him, and [the monk] said: Look at him; there is a cloud shading him. When he came to the people, he found that they had already taken up the shaded area beneath the tree, but when he sat down, the shadow of the tree moved to cover him. [The monk] said: Look at how the shadow of the tree has moved to cover him.

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi

Before his mission began, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never saw any dream but it came true like the light of dawn. Al-Bukhaari (3) and Muslim (160) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not see any dream but it came true like the light of dawn.

After all this, how can it be said that he was an ordinary man like all other people?

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 121839

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A